Women's basketball prepares for season
With the fall season gradually coming to a close, the women's basketball team is preparing itself for another successful season.
The team is coached by Chris Wielgus, who first headed the team from 1976-84. She returned to Hanover last year, turned the program around and finished the season with a 16-11 record and an Ivy co-championship.
Wielgus is already optimistic about the winter season. "We'll be very balanced this year. The players have come back in great physical shape - they're stronger and faster than they've been before. They're playing with more confidence and poise," she said.
Perhaps her confidence stems from the talents of her strong captains -- made up of forwards Ilsa Webeck '94 and Laurie Stucker '95, and guard Brandi Jones '95. To add to that stronghold, 1993-94 Ivy Player of the Year Betsy Gilmore '94 is back for one final season at Dartmouth. The four captains are confident.
"We feel we can hold our own, not only in terms of the Ivy schedule, but we also feel ready to challenge any team in the region," Wielgus said. "We want to walk into any gym and have the other team be worried about playing us."
That shouldn't be a problem, considering the Big Green's past accomplishments.
After beginning the 1993-94 season with a 0-5 record, the Big Green fought back. Taking one game at a time, the team accomplished a great feat by taking the Ivy title and earning a shot at the NCAAs. Although a loss to Brown in the playoff game prohibited Dartmouth from winning the tournament, the season ended with high hopes for the future of the team.
"The good thing about last season is that we showed ourselves we could do it by winning the Ivies," said guard Jen Pariseau '97. "However, we left ourselves another challenge, and that is to make it to the NCAAs."
The 1993-94 Ivy Rookie of the Year, Sally Annis '97, makes the challenge a bit easier. Annis led the team in average scoring last year with 11.7 points per game. Two other assets this season are juniors Jen Stamp and Kira Lawrence. Stamp can play both point and wing, while Lawrence is a strong rebounder, with an average 6.4 boards per game.
Other returning letterwinners include talented forwards Jill Marple '97 and Nicole Galanek '97, and three-point threat Katie Samuelson '97. The freshman class is represented by Bess Tortolani, Miranda Jones and Deidre Driscoll.
The Big Green have their goals set for the season.
"We want to work cohesively as a unit" Wielgus said. "The team is extremely hardworking. Of course we want to win, but winning is a bi-product of doing things properly."
"Our season basically depends on our effort and attitude," Pariseau said. "We can't hope that last year's success will get us through this season...We have to build on what we had."
The building power will be put to the test for the first time when the Big Green host UVM on Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.
"We want to get off to a better start than last year," Jones said. "We want to come out strong, and dominate right from the beginning."